Sutter doctor among first in U.S. to be accredited in obesity medicine
The American Board of Obesity Medicine conducted the first obesity medicine certification examination in November 2012. John Hernried, M.D., medical director for the Sutter Weight Management Institute, is one of 226 physicians across the U.S. who is now board-certified in obesity medicine.
“With more than 30 percent of the U.S. adult population obese, no field of medicine is immune from the complications associated with obesity,” said Dana Rasis Brittan, executive director of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. “Physicians certified in obesity medicine are able to positively impact all systems of the body by incorporating weight management in their traditional models of medical practice.”
As obesity becomes a more prevalent social issue, it also becomes a more pertinent issue for physicians and health care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. Obesity-related health conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, which are some of the leading causes of preventable death.
The ABOM goal is to create a highly skilled and diverse workforce of physicians who are competent in providing obesity care. The certification examination will assist physicians in attaining competency in this increasingly important and universally relevant aspect of medical care.
“I think this certification exam is the first step in the medical field in recognizing the importance of obesity as a complex, chronic disease,” said Hernried, whose institute provides weight management programs in the greater Sacramento, Roseville and Auburn areas. “Treating obesity requires competency in the genetic, biologic, environmental, social and behavioral factors that contribute to the disease.”
As the medical director over the SWMI program, Hernried adds the certification exam to his specialty training in weight management and in his work to have a closer partnership with patients and their primary care physicians for the patients’ greater health.